- Bake cookies
- Eat two and give the rest away
- Go to a bookstore, read travel books, and fantasize of a faraway vacation
- Take a walk
- Call a friend that you enjoy talking to but haven’t heard from in awhile
- Breathe deeply
- Flirt with someone that deserves your attention
- Plan something, real or imaginary: a new career, a room in your dream home, your future children’s names
- Clean a room or closet in your house
- Volunteer your time
- Watch the sun rise
- Take a moment to smell your coffee before brewing and sipping
- Read something entertaining in a comfortable space: outside, a comfy chair, in bed
- Watch your favorite comedy
- Listen to upbeat music, preferably disco
- Write a stream of consciousness
- Find something that you are good at and that you enjoy doing. Become better at it.
- Play with pets: yours, a friend’s, or a shelter
- Look at old pictures, letters, or memorabilia
- Exercise mindfully
- Go on a date
- Shop. Buy something that you feel great in, whether it’s earrings, a stunning dress, or a great pair of yoga pants
- Enjoy a good glass of wine
- Get a makeover
- Play a game with friends
- Open the windows during a rainstorm
- Go to your favorite concert
- Surround yourself in snuggly material: your favorite sweats, a down blanket, fuzzy socks
- Start a blog
- Get a massage. Do it yourself or splurge. Massage your scalp with eucalyptus shampoo, or your feet with lavender creme
- Create something artistic
- Hit balls at a batting cage
- Get dressed up
- Drink herbal tea
- Try progressive muscle relaxation
- Run as hard as you can, even if for only for 30 seconds
- Take a scorchingly hot shower
- Meditate or pray
- Work in a garden
- Attend a community event
- Drink hot chocolate
- Watch videos of laughing babies on Youtube
- Take an ice bath
- Run as long as you can, even if at a slow jog
- Learn something new: a recipe, foreign language, how to knit
- Ask yourself how you feel; respond with advice that you would give your best friend
- Eat ice cream
- Go to a driving range
- Make love
- Go to a play or performance show
- Eat something decadent, slowly. Enjoy each bite.
- Do something unexpectedly nice for someone else
- Change a room in your home: Paint the walls, rearrange the furniture, refurbish a piece of furniture
- Scream loudly in a secluded space
- Take a dance class
- Go swimming
- Find something that makes you feel sexy: music, high heels, lipstick, lingerie
- Tell yourself that in this very moment you have everything that you need
- Give yourself permission to do something indulgent
- Forgive someone
- Appreciate something with age and history
- Explore new territory
- Go to an amusement park
- Stretch your body
- Sit at an outdoor cafe
- Do something that you never thought that you would
- Attend a marathon race as a spectator
- Hold a baby
- Initiate a girls’ night
- Sit in the warmth of the sun
- Join a group: AA, a book club, a rec league
- Consult with a health professional
- Read something inspirational
- Work on a puzzle
- Play like a child
- Go for a drive
- Attend a cultural event
- Gaze at the stars
- Remind yourself that you have gotten through worse before
- Sit next to a natural body of water: a stream, the ocean, a waterfall; listen mindfully
- Work towards a health goal like weight loss, a faster run time, or doing the splits
- Sit quietly with your eyes closed. Create a space in your mind that is peaceful and safe. Go there.
- Make a list of long and short term goals
- Take the first step towards your goals
- Pay off debt
- Find a non-profit or charity organization with a cause that you are passionate about; get involved
- Give your full attention to someone else
- Take a quiet bubble bath
- Make peace with your stress by finding gratitude for it
- Go fishing
- Go to a museum
- Visit new sites on the internet
- Put clean sheets on your bed
- Enjoy the smell of fresh cut grass
- Go on vacation or plan a staycation
- Sing your heart out
- Buy fresh flowers or a new plant for your home
- Go out to dinner
- Allow yourself to let go
More real wellness, like this, to be shared in this month’s Wellness Challenge.
I am so grateful to be able to do what I do. It has taken me several years to get to be at this place in my career and I couldn’t be more thrilled. I always knew that the essential tools and lessons that I was learning through education, experience, and introspection were missing somewhere in life lessons 101.
Here are a few amazing testimonials and feedback that I have received from individual and group wellness coaching in the last couple of weeks.
“I have lost 11 lbs in 5 weeks. This is unreal. Thank you so much.” ~L.S, 32
“I am going to bed every night before 10:30. It was hard at first but now I am sleeping and rested. I haven’t felt this way in years.” ~ J.L, 39
“I stopped my psychotropic meds. I just don’t need them now and I feel great.” ~G*
“This is why everyone needs a coach. Women need to hear that it is ok to stop beating themselves up!” ~H.T, 35
“It is hard to balance your weight loss goals with your goals to go out and meet people, but I am doing it!” ~L.S, 32
“I have started eating breakfast or having a smoothie and am seeing changes in my mood, energy level, and weight.” ~A.B, 28
“Powered through a 4 mile run. It was a challenge but I finished.” ~E.H, 26
*Not recommended without consulting a physician
Right around my 29th birthday, I was completely inspired when a close friend of mine created her 30 before 30 list. I loved the idea, the principle, the small goals. I felt beyond privileged that I was included in not 1, but 2 items of her list. 30 is an important year for most, but I think especially for professional women. I have thought often about what I would want to accomplish in my next year.
I could never get my list right for me. There weren’t items that were achievable, within my control, fun, inspirational, reflective of me… My list was lame. It included things like: get married, open Blissful Mind Wellness, travel more… yeah that was about it.
You see, I was always able to balance out the things I hadn’t achieved with the things that I had achieved. For instance: I thought that I would be married by 30 but I didn’t think that I would own a house by 23; I thought that I would be further along in my career but I didn’t know that the economy would tank; I miss traveling and wished I had discovered more places but I took my flight benefits for granted when I had them.
I had often reflected on my friend’s list: make an unexpected gift for a friend (which she did for me) and let someone pick a book for me to read (which I did for her). However, I could never do any of those. EVER. I have zero creative ability, and I am VERY particular about what I read. No chiclit for this mama.
As the big 3-0 approaches, I have suddenly become more sentimental about it, more nostalgic. What represents me? What do I want to do in my final Summer before 30. And suddenly the ideas have been streaming in.
My list is not the urgent rush to accomplish everything that I thought that I would do before 30 (which were my initial plans for a 30 before 30). My list is not a random checklist (which I thought I would need in order to create a 30 before 30). My list is a compilation of: 1) things that are relevant to my life now 2) things that I feel are inappropriate or less appropriate to do beyond 30, and 3) Things that I want to carry into my 30’s and beyond. So, here goes it. My list. My 30 before 30 in just over 90 days. I am gonna need your support!
- Learn to surf
- Send a hand written letter to my favorite people just to tell them so
- A girls night out of dancing with reckless abandon
Go skinny dipping Become a certified yogi
- Climb a tree
Paint something, like a picture, and accept it when (or if) it’s terrible (are you feeling my lack of creativity yet) Go camping
- Learn a healthy(ish) and amazing peanut butter cookie recipe
- Keep a bottle of bubbly in the house at all times, celebrate, and repeat
Have a throwback girls’ slumber party (think Girl Talk— complete with zit stickers— mixed with Boones Farm but WAY cooler)
- Run an 8 minute mile
- Throw a tacky theme party– preferably a So You Think You Can Dance Finale Party
- Say hello to each one of my friends on Facebook (curently at 467)… and if I don’t want to, delete em
- Open Blissful Mind Wellness (the center)
- Go to a water park or theme park
- Make out in a car, a movie, a dressing room or someplace inappropriate (with my handsome fiance, of course)
Run through the sprinklers
- Create prayer space, whether it be physical space in my house or designated space in time
- Take a shot or two at a bar with friends during the day
- Buy a pair of INCREDIBLE shoes
- Attend one of my favorite concerts. Sing during the whole thing
- Do the splits
And a back walkover
- Purchase lingerie that embraces my gorgeous & natural curvature at 30
- Read a ridiculously long classic, like Gone with the Wind or Atlas Shrugged
- Find a penpal or Twitter friend from France (my roots that I have suddenly felt most connected to)… if only I could go visit
- Write my fiance a love letter
- Drink an amazing bottle of expensive wine
- Get a tattoo… It’s now or never, but this is a big maybe!
As many already know, Raleigh was hit by some nasty tornadoes on Saturday night. Many were left without power, their homes, and their lives. Frustrated to have been without power for 18 hours, I have since grown grateful that that was the only infliction we faced. I have been very distracted the past few days because of the hurricane. I am vigilantly watching the news, the volunteer efforts, and the revitalization of a community. That is my therapist side, I suppose: a listener, observer, assessor.
I have been flooded with different emotions. I feel deeply saddened by the damage that has been done to beautiful downtown Raleigh. I have watched this city bloom over the past few years. It was heartbreaking to see hundred year old trees that have named the City of Oaks, torn from their roots, very new businesses forced to close and losing revenue, and a university cancel all classes for the remainder of the semester.
I feel inspired and proud when I see community efforts transpire.It thrills me to see our city take care of our city, crossing lines of cultural and economic diversity. I suppose this is also why I love the downtown area: because it represents that diversity.
I feel frustrated that we need devastation to come together in a united front. Without natural disasters, there are people without homes, without food, without power, without education. I know if we worked with the same passion and devotion, we could eliminate some of these problems.
I feel fearful that climate change is taking peoples’ lives on every continent.
I have been a bit distracted by all of these emotions, trying to figure out where my efforts would be most useful. I am ready to drop off a large bag of clothes as well as assist in a donation drive of clothes and toiletries. Schedule permitting, I may hop on a cleanup crew later this week. These are important, necessary efforts. But the burden on my heart to do more is still there. How do we motivate a world to make progressive change? Usually, I am OK with my part in mental health, wellness, & well-being. Be the Change, right? However, with plans of marriage and starting a family, I look at life differently.
So I ask you: How do you inspire others to make changes to social, economic, environmental, and educational changes that need to be made Now?